Guest Post: Top 10 Tips for Planning a Funeral

    Here's a guest post by Tom Reynolds, a co-owner of Memorials of Distinction with 10 tips when planning a funeral. It's an interesting read with some good points. Normally I don't look at how to organise or plan a funeral from a family/mourners/deceased perspective. But a lot of people want this and find it helpful, plus it's great to get a more diverse perspective on the blog.

Arranging a funeral can be a stressful time in a persons' life especially if it needs to be done unexpectedly. Although many people try to put off making plans for when they or a loved one passes away, there's a lot to be said to having things in place just in case. However, it's human nature to avoid thinking about it, but if you do make plans, it will make things that much easier at a difficult time when you have lost a loved one. Below are 10 tips for planning a funeral.

Organise poems or songs for the funeral service

1 Avoid Panicking
There's absolutely no reason for you to be rushed into making any decisions at a time when you need to think about things, and sort out feelings. If you think things are moving too fast for you, then slow them down so you are able to take stock of the situation and your feelings.

2 Take Time to Say Goodbye
Take your time to think about the person who has just passed away so you have the time to say goodbye to them. Although, the funeral parlour may want to take over and organise everything for you, try not to let them unless you really feel you cannot cope on your own.

Attendants at the graveside

3 Be in Control
Being involved in the arrangements and time-table of the funeral means you are more in control of how fast or slow things are done – remember, you need to take your time and do things when you feel comfortable about doing them.

4 Concentrate on Things That Matter
Concentrate on the things that matter to you and avoid wasting any of your money on the things that are just not important to you. When it comes to contacting the funeral home, make sure you do not just accepted the first one you came across – you need to feel happy with the people who will be taking care of your loved one.

5 Do Your Research
Organising and planning a funeral is an expensive business, so you need to treat the whole process as you would buying or organising any other important event in your life. When you do decide on a funeral home, make sure they provide you with an itemised list of their costs – this is something funeral parlours are obliged to do.

6 Choose Aspects of a Package
If you are not happy with a complete funeral package you are offered, choose the aspects you do like and go with them because you do have the right to do this. A reputable funeral parlour would accept your choices – if you want to keep things simple, you can.

7 Organise Songs for the Funeral
A good idea is to organise and sing songs at your loved one's funeral. This will help everyone who attends to be part of the ceremony. If you know someone who sings well, ask them to take the lead in the singing.

8 Ask For Help
If you feel you need help with anything, you should never be afraid of asking people to give you advice or a helping hand. If people offer help, you should accept because people do love to give a helping hand whether physical or just moral support when times are difficult.

9 Understand the Cost
If there is anything you don't understand about the costs and services a funeral parlour will be charging you for, then ask for it all to be clarified in writing so you can then discuss it with family and friends.

10 Understand What You Are Paying For
The sort of services you would expect to be offered and therefore charged for by a funeral parlour includes the following:
Embalming and any other preparation of the body.
The use of the funeral parlour for viewing, memorial service, funeral ceremony or a graveside service.
Hearse and limousines.
Casket or urn.
Burial or cremation.

There is a lot to organise when it comes to funerals which is why it is that much better to plan things earlier. Although it is always hard to talk about death, it is something everyone does have to face up to sooner or later. Being prepared does make it that much easier for all concerned at a very difficult time.

Author bio: Tom Reynolds is one of the co-owners of Memorials of Distinction - a long established, family owned headstones and memorial specialists serving the public and memorial trade in the UK

Image credits: themostinept and blmurch


  1. Losing a loved one is difficult and it is even more difficult to plan their funeral. The tendency is you may have a hard time making decisions. We can also ask help from friends and relatives to help us decide for the funeral. Planning early on is also a great idea as everything will already be arranged nd the family will no longer have a hard time coming up with decisions and organizing the funeral.


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  3. Organising the funeral of a loved one is an emotional and often stressful experience. Thanks for posting helpful tips or guidance about planning a funeral.

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  5. After reading through your list, I think you second tip was the most meaningful for me. It can be really stressful planning a funeral for obvious reasons. There can be a lot of pressure to try and make sure it is perfect and the task of planning can become overwhelming. I like how you mentioned taking the time to say goodbye. That is an important part of the grieving period. You need to be able to get that closure instead of trying to rush through things. These tips will be really helpful for me as I try and find a good funeral home and plan this event.

  6. I absolutely love your tip about concentrating on the things that matter. When my grandfather died a few months ago and I was charged with making funeral arrangements, I was a bit overwhelmed with everything there was to do and with all of the options there were. It helped to take some time to focus on what was really necessary and then put the most effort into those things. http://www.lawrybrothers.com

  7. I like the tip, concentrate on things that matter. Funerals are already stressful things to plan. If you don't worry about the things that don't matter, then you will be able focus on the things that do. It seems like when that happens will be able to relax a lot better. http://frybros.com.au/about-us/

  8. Funeral planning is a big task, our Saamis Memorial Funeral Chapel & Crematorium team loves to keep the families we serve up to date with the latest funeral planning information possible.


Never hesitate to ask a question or comment on something, this is an open minded and free space.

If you want to contact me privately do so at: theothersideoffunerals@gmail.com